By Brenda: Aromatherapy, oil magic and healing through essential oils was first born out of the civilization of Ancient Egypt. Some of the first documentations of herbal distillations and remedies were found in the medical papyrus and on the walls of the temples of Hathor and Horus. These temples were where the priest and priestesses were trained in the healing arts. Recipes of oil infusions are carved on the wall in both temples and even a faint shadow of scent can still be detected in the distillery rooms even to this day.
Egypt was the perfume capital of the ancient world. They had perfected a method of distillation that is used even to this day. The ancient Egyptians believed that one must go forth whole in this life and the afterlife. To do that one must be perfumed or “ Smelling Good” to the gods. Each oil that was derived from a plant had a medicinal as well as an esoteric meaning. Oils were used to anoint in religious ritual, for adornment and for healing. The ways that the essential oils were in healing were the first examples of Aromatherapy. The oils were applied to the body, inhaled and burned so that the essence of the herb was carried into the body through the olfactory system.
When that happened the essence of the healing herb would go straight to the brain. The center in which the ancient Egyptians believed disease was born, the mind. IF the mind became whole so did the body was their philosophy. A belief, that is now gaining popularity through holistic and new age healing practices. Oils were applied front and back along the spinal chakras, or spinal energy centers to heal ailments that were associated to that center. Oils were applied to the stomach of a pregnant woman to help ease the birthing of her child. However, as in all healing practices a diagnosis was first given and that was usually done by a trained priest or priestess trained in the arts of healing. Egyptians were the greatest and most sought after healers of the ancient world. Their process of mummification had given them extensive knowledge of the human body. Their land was an abundant one with varied resources of herbs, flowers and resins. These they painstakingly distilled and tested until they had a complete pharmacopeia of medicinal oils.
Recipes for these oils and the plants they were derived from can be found carved on the walls of Dendera and Edfu the temples of Hathor and Horus respectively. Some of the formulas cannot be reconstructed because the plant or herb like the blue lotus has been extinct for hundreds of years. The practice of Aromatherapy has made a comeback in the last twenty years. Even now in the 21st century, we read about a new use of Basil or Oregano common herbs which we have been using as seasoning, but that have been known to the ancients thousands of years ago to cure illnesses.
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is being combined with many holistic healing practices such as massage therapy, Reiki and other forms of energy healing. Aromatherapy is being combined with meditation and relaxation techniques to treat anxiety and PTSD trauma. Aromatherapy and its practice involves studying the medicinal and esoteric properties of the oils. What each individual oil or combination can be used to treat and illness mind body and spirit. The oils and their essences find natural receptors in the human and animal bodies to promote healings and psychological support.
Aromatherapy oils are applied topically and in some cases under the supervision of a holistic practitioner can be ingested. These powerful oils find their way into creams, lotions, bath salts, candles and other carriers to bring the benefit of their healing aromas or flavors to cure and ease disease and discomfort in both animals and humans. Dogs and horses being especially receptive and used with caution with cats because of their sensitive natures. All in all Aromatherapy has unlimited potential in the field of holistic healing making it a rediscovered tool to treat the body as a whole.
Love and Light,